Sol Dollinger again

Apsken at Apsken at
Mon May 1 07:07:32 MDT 2000

> Your wild exaggerations about the Johnson cult is not
>  the object of my attention these days.

    Sol turns every fact into a provocation. I made no claims of glory at all
for the Johnsonites. To the contrary, I described their participation in the
Trotskyist movement as loyal disciplined members of the Workers Party
1940-1947, and of the Socialist Workers Party 1947-1953, in response to his
false accusation that they had been a factional opposition. The
Johnson-Forest group was a small political tendency concentrated mainly in
the auto industry, working alongside other larger currents in joint struggle.
They merit praise as a whole, not faction by faction. Sol is the one who
feels the need to assign grades to each group, so that his own Cochran-Clarke
heroes will emerge at the head of the class.

    As for Sol's denial of C.L.R. James's role in the Trotskyist leadership,
one episode ought to satisfactorily refute that. During the French Turn
period, when the Trotskyists had liquidated their public organization (the
Communist League of America) to enter the Socialist Party, in preparation for
splitting the SP a year later upon founding the Fourth International, they
retained their independent newspaper, Socialist Appeal, but otherwise lacked
a public spokesman for U.S. Trotskyism as such. Their solution was to put
C.L.R. James on a national speaking tour as the representative of that
orthodoxy, just after he had written World Revolution. I feel sure  that
within the socialist movement, Cannon, Shachtman, and Abern were better known
as Trotskyists, but James was their leader best known to the public at large
during that period.

Ken Lawrence

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